Part 47: Pangaea - Turns 26-27
One of those events is a free thousand gold, but otherwise nothing unexpected. Let's see how my attack on TC went!
As you can see, I don't outnumber him by nearly as much as I have in the past. This is bad. On the other hand, both my north and south flanks are revelers - hopefully my maenad core will tie up all those guys with shields TC has while the revelers run past to stab archers on horses and mages.
For the first time, swarm (sort of) fails me. I want to say this is because TC has wised up and put his blockers out in front where they can actually block for his archers, but I think those guys are all PD. Losing the first turn advantage also seriously cuts down on its utility; those archers have already killed a nontrivial number of maenads. Fortunately, it is no longer the only tool my mages have to rely on! Let's take a brief moment to duck out of the battle and discuss research.
See that evocation 4? I just hit that last turn. This means I got to play an extra exciting game! It's the one where I leave a bunch of my mages mostly unscripted and then hope they decide to use the right one of their new spells. Specifically, in this case, I have scripted all my E2 pans to summon earthpower and then cast spells. I want them to cast blade wind, because blade wind kills stuff with poor armor and no shields (like TC's sacreds and mages). These are the most expensive and also the most dangerous things he has. That blood magic I'm working on now? We'll revisit that in a couple turns when it hits 4, but I'll give you a hint: it's adorable and falls from the sky and kills economies dead. It's also the first thing I would have researched if I was good at this game, but I'm not so it wasn't. Such is life. Back to the fight!
It appears that my mages have disagreed with my judgement in this matter. How unfortunate. Now, in fairness to them, this isn't a completely useless spell. Breath of the dragon poisons people, which is probably better than blade wind against high prot targets with shields. These are medium prot targets they're aiming at and only half of them have shields, which makes it kind of an iffy case, but sure spellcasting AI maybe it's not the worst call. There's still the problem where blade wind kills the stuff it hits right away and this takes like ten rounds of combat before they stop stabbing my troops, but, hey, as long as it takes out some sacreds I-
I hate my mages. In contrast, TC's mages? They've spent this entire battle dropping acid on my revelers. The northern group gets close to them, but...
I just don't have the numbers, with my mages deciding that not killing stuff is cooler than killing stuff. Fortunately this should be the only time I have to rely on them behaving, since I can now script blade wind.
I finally lost a non-trivial number of stuff that actually costs gold (those poor goatmen), but there were no mage casualties and I killed a bunch of his stuff too. Not the victory I wanted, but as defeats go it could have been much worse.
At this point I don't have any more time to spare for our stalemate in the south; TC's northern army has finally reached the point where their movement isn't completely predictable, so I need to start taking them seriously - besides which, my southern army has been whittled down enough that some fresh troops would be a good idea anyway. My new independent commander continues leading the brave revelers of Special Goatman Squad Arcoscephale towards home, while the southern army itself returns to the cap to gather fresh troops and see where TC will move. But what fresh troops? I've been funneling maenads to the front on a fairly regular basis, and even with that gold windfall, my resources limit reveler/centaur production. On the other hand, I have conjuration 3 and almost 200 nature gems. There's got to be a solution there!
Pangaean factories are retooled to begin lion production immediately.
I bid on Dagan because I want to turn my 4 random event pearls into an actual astral income. He's also a decent researcher.
Finally, notable things that did not happen this turn: Sauromatia attacking me. In fact, that army isn't on the border at all anymore. Hooray.
That's 100 gems of Great Lions right there. This might be the single least efficient thing I have ever done in Dominions 3, including both the time I empowered the Eater of the Dead then had it cloud trapeze into Man and the time I gave the gift of Kurgi to my gift of reasoned zombie elephant. Dagan liked my offer. There were two battles as expected; my brave revelers have finally reached friendly-ish territory, and TC's northern army has continued into my lands.
This picture is the product of lots and lots of guesswork. TC's northen army could move into any of six different provinces I own. I think the two most likely targets are the temple I have out in the open and my cap. I decide the temple is probably more likely, since caps come with 25 PD he'd have to slog through in addition to all the stuff he can see I have present. I consider the southern options unlikely since he can just sweep them up with his southern army as it moves up to join in. I give my mages strict instructions in regard to blade wind and a huge army of lions to stand in front of them, and send everyone I can spare off to intercept a possible attack on the temple. The newly rescued goatmen are ordered back to the cap to assist with any fighting that will need to happen there next turn, in case I've guessed wrong and TC moves onto it.
Finally, I make arrangements to start cutting his possible retreats. Remember those revelers I had parked in Sauromatia? Neither did I until a couple turns ago, but they've been ordered south to assist and they're finally in position to strike. I still need something to take the province TC is sitting in right now, though; this is an incredibly risky job since there's the possibility of his army intercepting whatever I send if he moves onto my cap, so it needs to be something that is both expendable (or immortal) and capable of beating whatever PD he leaves behind.
Let's see what's accumulated in the armory from all those random events I've been ignoring!
The sword is junk. The boots are basically junk but at least they won't get in the way. The armor, though, is perfect - it has a stoneskin effect that gives the wearer a flat 20 protection.
Let's do this.